Ray Ozzie

2000 W. Wallace McDowell Award Recipient
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“For his vision, determination, and programming skill in the development of Lotus Notes, a program that enables groups of people to work collaboratively over computer networks”

 

Ray Ozzie (born November 20, 1955) is Chief Software Architect at Microsoft. He was formerly best known for his role in creating Lotus Notes.

He grew up in Chicago, Illinois, later moving to Park Ridge, Illinois and graduating from Maine South High School in 1973 where he learned to program on a GE-400 mainframe and did technical work on school theater productions.

He received his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1979 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the PLATO system, and began his working career at Data General Corporation where he worked for Jonathan Sachs. After leaving Data General, Ozzie worked at Software Arts for Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, the creators of VisiCalc, on that product and TK Solver. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Sachs and Mitch Kapor to work for Lotus Development to develop what became Lotus Symphony. Ozzie left Lotus Development in 1984 and founded Iris Associates to create the product later sold by Lotus as Lotus Notes. Iris Associates was acquired by Lotus in 1994, and Lotus itself was acquired by IBM in 1995. Ozzie worked there for several years before leaving to form Groove Networks. Groove was acquired by Microsoft in 2005, where Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers.

Ozzie and his wife, Dawna Bousquet, have two children, Neil Ozzie and Jill Ozzie.

On June 15, 2006, Ozzie took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates.